How to build a pallet coffee table on wheels
with an in-built herb garden
What You Need:
Hint: Electric tools make this project a breeze – especially an electric sander, drill and saw.
- A recycled pallet
- Weed mat or plastic sheet and staple gun
- Crow bar (or any tool that can prise the wood slats off the pallet frame)
- 4 swivel castors + 4 screws + 4 washers – we used Medium Industrial Castors with 100mm wheels MCU100/P ON SPECIAL HERE!
- Drill or screw driver
- Potting soil
- Decorative rocks or gravel
Step 1: Cut the pallet down to size.
What You Do:
It depends on the space of your living area but we felt the original size of this pallet was a little too large, so we sawed it just over the halfway mark, keeping the base frame intact.
Step 2: Sand the rough wood.
A bit of sanding was needed at this stage to smooth the rough edges and clean up the dirty wood grain.
Step 3: Pull the wood slats off the top.
In order to have a smooth table top with no gaps in between the wood, you need to pull the middle slats off. This requires a bit of elbow grease. Use whatever tools that help you to prise the wood apart, then use a hammer to hammer the nails out backwards far enough so you are able to pull them out from the other side. Keep the nails to reuse later when hammering the slats back into place.
Step 4: Nail the wood slats back on the “table top” leaving no gaps (except for the garden planter).
Decide where the garden planter will be positioned within the table top. As we wanted to use wood from the one pallet, we had to be a little creative and found that the only way it could easily work with the wood we had available was to have the garden off-centre. The asymmetrical look for a coffee table looks interesting and works well.
Hint: You’ll need to cut two smaller pieces to fit either side of the garden planter. Don’t nail those smaller pieces in place until you have your garden planter ready and sealed. See next step.
Step 5: Make the garden planter box.
Take the middle base of the pallet out from underneath (which in our case was off-centre as described above) and add two more lengths of wood to close in the sides. Staple gun your weed mat to seal the inside of the box.
Step 6: Nail the garden planter in place.
Place the planter underneath the table and hammer remaining wood slats into place. The two smaller pieces on either side of the garden nail into the base blocks and hold the garden planter in place. If you find any gaps between the top of the planter and the table top, just staple some more weed matting or plastic sheet to seal the gap – that way your garden bed will be flush at the table top.
Step 7: Sand the wood.
Smooth down the whole lot to your hearts content.
Step 8: Select and fit your castors.
We used urethane swivel castors with a wheel diameter of 125mm. Urethane wheels roll well on soft carpets. For a hard floor, try rubber wheels. The bigger the wheel size, the easier it is to turn and move the table, however, for this application a wheel diameter as small as 80mm would be sufficient. Use washers and screws to fix the castor top plate to the base of the table.
Step 9: Plant your garden.
You can get creative with this – try planting a variety of succulents instead of herbs. Just a bit of potting soil, plants and some decorative rocks were all we needed.
The result – a rustic and trendy addition to your living room.